British His Master's Voice Values
this page first published by John Wright, 5 Dec 1997
last update 14 Mar email@example.com
Note: values quoted are typical prices paid at a record fair stall where the stall-holder knows the demand for music and records.
Usually the most commonly found record label in a 78rpm collection, HMV sold millions of records and many of the popular
bands or artistes sold thousands, even hundreds of thousands of certain titles.
The His Master's Voice label has been around for about 90 years and on it you can find just about any kind of music. You'll find mostly 10" records from the 1910's to the 1950's with the 'dog and horn' picture on labels that were plum/maroon/red in colour. The vast majority of these discs are not valuable and sell for £1 or under at record fairs, but there are exceptions depending on age and the type of music.
Popular music was mainly issued in the B seriesand BD series. The catalogue numbering is often a guide to age but isn't always chronological.
Regarding types of popular music, among collectors jazzy tunes are more popular than waltzes or strings-only dance music. Similarly with singers, the popular film and show tunes are sought after more than the ballads. Some dance bands on HMV are favourites with many collectors, particularly Ray Noble, Ambrose, Savoy Orpheans, Paul Whiteman, Jean Goldkette. Jazz is rarely found on early HMV but after 1935 there was a lot of jazz and big band records issued including 're-issue' of many American 1920's bands.
|Cat. No.||Band or |
|B.260||Metropolitan Orchestra||1913||£2.00||an American studio orchestra|
|B.962||Savoy Quartet||1918||£4.00||late ragtime songs|
|B.1991||Paul Whiteman Orch||1925||£0.50||an American band but very common waltz music|
|B.2189||Jack Hylton Orch||1925||£2.00||lively dance titles|
|B.2736||Johnny Marvin||1927||£2.00||popular American singer with lively accompaniment|
|B.2871||Jack Smith||1928||£3.00||a lot of people like this singer, and the accompaniment is hot/jazzy on one side|
|B.3008||Gracie Fields||1929||£0.50||a lot of people like Gracie but this record is common|
|B.4001||New Mayfair Novelty Orchestra, Noel Coward||1932||£4.00||the orchestra side is hot/jazzy and features a much sought after vocalist, Al Bowlly|
|B.4871||Connie's Inn Orchestra||1932||£5.00||this is REAL jazz from USA, actually the Fletcher Henderson Orch|
|B.5017||Savoy Orpheans||1926||£2.00||this very good 20's band is very popular with collectors|
|B.5021||Kit-Cat Band||1926||£0.50||again waltzes|
|B.5173||Fred Hamm Orch|
Johnny Hamp Orch
|1926||£4.00||lively dance titles,|
|B.5321||Jack Hylton Orch||1927||£0.50||dull dance titles|
|B.5385||Louis Dumaine's Jazzola Eight||1927||£50.00||genuine New Orleans jazz|
|B.5417||Thomas Waller||1927||£10.00||again this is real jazz, 'Fats' Waller|
|B.5471||Paul Whiteman Orch||1928||£2.00||with the added attraction of Bing Crosby vocals and the prescence of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke but this record sold lots|
|B.5509||Paul Whiteman Orch||1928||£50.00||yes it's Paul Whiteman again but this record is a rare one, Bix and Bing again|
|B.5786||Jack Hylton Orch||1930||£3.00||yes it's Jack Hylton again but one title is a hot/jazzy dance tune|
|B.5909||Ambrose and his Orch||1930||£4.00||another top British band's jazzy offerings|
|B.6066||Duke Ellington Orch||1931||£5.00||classic Cotton Club music|
|B.6482||Ray Noble Orch||1934||£2.00||another Al Bowlly vocal, but very common|
|B.8504||Benny Goodman Orch||1936||£1.00||common big band titles|
|B.8906||Artie Shaw Orch||1938||£1.00||common big band titles|
|B.9221||Jelly Roll Morton||1940||£4.00||jazz, re-issue of titles recorded back in 1928|
|B.10662||Glenn Miller||1944?||£1.00||common big band titles|
|BD.292||Fats Waller||1935||£2.00||common jazz titles|
|BD.5047||Ray Noble Orch||1936||£4.00||recorded in US,|
Al Bowlly vocals
|BD.5256||Jack Hylton Orch||1937||£2.00||female vocals|
|BD.5665||Tommy Dorsey Orch||1940||£4.00||with Frank Sinatra|
These records are only examples of what kind of values are put on HMV popular vocal, dance and jazz records, there will be some records by the same artistes worth more or less, depends on the quality of the music and on how many copies of the records were sold.
There is also a lot of popular music on 12" records, the C series. For example:
|Cat. No.||Band or |
|C.399||Murray's Ragtime Trio||1915||£5.00||popular ragtime sound|
|C.1395||Paul Whiteman Orch, with George Gershwin||1924||£2.00||historical recording, but quite common|
|C.1252||Savoy Orpheans||1926||£1.00||a top '20's band, but dull stuff|
|C.1505||Paul Whiteman Orch||1928||£1.00||although Bix is on one side, Paul Robeson on the other, this record is very common|
|C.2939||Bunny Berigan Orch||1937||£1.00||well-known jazz record, but very common|
|C.3231||Artie Shaw Orch||1940||£2.00||big band|
Many people collect opera records from the early 20th century,
e.g. Enrico Caruso, Chaliapin, John McCormack, Amelitia Galli-Curci, Alma Gluck etc and these appear with HMV labels in various colours and series, and the earlier issues were one-sided i.e. just one title.
|Cat.No.||Label Colour||Artiste||Typical Value||Comments|
|GC.7-52003*||pink||Enrico Caruso||£10.00||1909 issue|
|7-52053||red||Giovanni Martinelli||£4.00||1913 issue|
|7-52061||red||John McCormack||£6.00||1914 issue|
|7-54006||yellow||Caruso and Gluck||£10.00||1914 issue|
|D.A.1303||bright red||Enrico Caruso||£0.50||very common, double-sided, dubbed 1930's re-issues|
* Note: this is a GRAMOPHONE CONCERT record, pre 1910 but has the 'dog and horn' picture on the label.
I would welcome any correction to the opera table, I have the records but am guessing a little on issue dates and values.
HMV records of classical music of 1910-1950 are also common in 10" and 12" form. Orchestral and instrumental (pianists etc) are mostly worthless but some special historic items are sought after. There was a D Seriesand an E Series of black label HMV records, which included all kinds of music, except dance music. So you'll find a lot of classical music, stars of the stage, poets, politicians. Later came the Red DA- and DB- classical series. For example:
|Cat. No.||Band or |
|D 83||Irene Scharrer|
|D 1195||Beatrice Harrison|
cond. Berlin S.O.O.
cond. Phil O.
|DB8586 to 8589|
4 disc set